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It’s all about teamwork
- Updated: April 15, 2011
With a number of their best athletes away in Mauritius and new SA 400-metre hurdles record-holder and SA champion LJ van Zyl resting on this occasion, it’s a new look Gauteng North team that will line up in Saturday’s final Yellow Pages inter-provincial meeting in Bellville, Cape Town.
Central North West are also not at full strength as many of their athletes are deep in preparation for the Student Championships the last weekend in April.
This could well play into the hands of Western Province who are third on the points table after the first meet in Germiston on 26 March ÔÇô behind Central Northwest and Gauteng North.
This however does not mean the top two provinces can be written off. Gladwin Mzazi (SA 5000m silver medalist) is entered in the 5000m whilst World Cross Country Championships top 30 finisher Kgosi Tsosane will be doubling in the 1500 and 5000m
There’s also no Khotso Mokoena, but Mpho Maphuta is given an opportunity to further show he is the future of long jumping. The junior has already hit 8m this year in the long jump and if he can repeat his 15.47m triple jump performance of the SA Juniors, then he will be adding valuable points to his province.
Gauteng North are banking on SA 800/1500m champion Caster Semenya to bring maximum points as she lines up in both those races, and after last weekend’s performances, she has to line up as favourite.
Central Gauteng are once again relying on their middle distance stars to do the job for them. National 1500m champion Juan Van Deventer will have the bulls eye firmly attached to his back. SA Bronze medalist Pharson Magagane will join Van Deventer, but will also be on the start line in the 800m.
Ruben Ramolefi, if he produces a similar time to that of his SA Championship performance of 8min14.06 will be banking huge points for his province. Rene Kalmer will also have another busy doing competing in both the 1500m and 5000m as she sharpens up her speed before her international marathon debut in Prague on May 8.
WP will be looking to junior Samantha Pretorius, Zintle Xiniwe, Roscoe Engels, Taariq Solomons and Alet van Wyk to secure as many points for the host province as possible.
Pretorius’ 6.44 at the Junior Championships is the best in the country this year and with no Janice Josephs in the mix, (Boland have not entered a team), she is favourite for the win. The Western Province youngster looks a star of the future┬á in his event.
At just 19, it’s surely only a matter of time before she breaks Luzaan du Preez’s SA junior record of 6.54m, set 21 years ago.
Xiniwe has fond memories of the Bellville track; it was here on 10 March she broke 16 minutes for only the second time and the 24 year-old will be looking to repeat that feat for WP.
Roscoe Engels flew to a huge PB in the 100m in the semi-finals of the National Championships in Durban on 9 March, his 10.19sec time putting him on the top 10 all time list in South Africa. In the absence of SA champion Simon Magakwe, that makes him favourite to win the short sprint. In fact Engel could do the double for his province. Free State’s Wade van Niekerk and Lebogang Moeng will not be lining up in the 200m, which means that Engel is also the fastest in the field for that race.